Interview by Farrokh Hesabi

Expert Ghasempour dissatisfied with Hector Cuper’s speculation

January 28, 2023 - 14:23

TEHRAN – Former member of Iran Football Federation’s technical happy, Ebrahim Ghasempour, is not happy with the speculation that the federation has been linked with ex-Valencia coach Hector Cuper.

With the contract of 2022 World Cup head coach Carlos Queiroz having expired after poor results at the tournament, fans of the Iran football national team have been wondering when a new head coach will be named so that Team Melli can truly begin moving toward the upcoming competitions.

The crucial condition of the national team, which have seen four coaches from 2019 to 2023, namely Queiroz, Marc Wilmots, Dragan Skocic, and again Queiroz, the importance of the hiring process for a new coach is increased.

Iranian football must set its sight on the World Cup 2026 and in this process, there is a significant amount to be gained or lost in the next four years due to the quality of the upcoming head coach.

The Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI) has been silent about selecting the new head coach of the national team. However, some media reported that Argentine coach Hector Cuper has been nominated to take charge of the Iran national football team. According to, the FFIRI has negotiated with the 67-year-old coach. 

Before, Iranian coaches such as Farhad Majidi and Amir Ghalenoei were named among the candidates to take the leadership of the Persian Leopards.

Ebrahim Ghasempour, former player and coach of Iran national team and a member of the FFIRI technical committee, reacted harshly to the news of the negotiation with Cuper.

“The Iran football federation faces financial crisis,” said Ghasempour in his interview with Tehran Times.

“I think that the financial crisis has led the FFIRI official to make a weird decision about the national team. They select coaches who have failed in other teams,” he added.

Cuper was sacked by DR Congo after a poor start to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying in June 2022.

The coach has had spells in charge of Valencia, Inter Milan, and Egypt.

“Before the 2022 World Cup, the federation did the same about hiring Queiroz. He was a complete failure in Egypt and Colombia and was sacked from both teams, but our football federation suddenly fired the former head coach and give him the chance to lead Iran in another World Cup,” he added.

“Now they are repeating their mistakes by thinking about coaches who are not expensive and are without a team right now, no matter how they performed in their recent teams,” he said.

Under the leadership of Queiroz, Team Melli suffered two defeats against England and the U.S. and earned a win over Wales, and failed to book a place in the knockout stage.

Ghasempour believes that appointing domestic coaches is the best decision in the current condition of Iranian football.

“When you do not have enough money to hire big and well-known coaches, you should trust in hiring the skilled domestic coaches instead of unsuccessful foreign ones,” he concluded.

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